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Stanwick Group of Churches

December 2019

Up until my late teens the festive period was always enjoyed at my family home in Scotland. On Christmas day having had a quick breakfast the whole family went to church. We were a large family with me being the youngest of 5 boys. The minister would smile approvingly at our excellent turnout since it swelled his congregation substantially. I always timed the sermon precisely. They were long. Very long. 30 minutes was speedy and a bit shallow , 45mins was more meaty. The subject matter was always the same and seemed to rubbish all the enjoyable things of life - money, sex, gambling, drink, the lot!

My father would squirm uncomfortably as the list of horrors was rattled off and my mother looked straight ahead as if she was never possessed by these demons. Every now and again the minister would thump the pulpit thereby making it impossible for any of his flock to have a quick nap. After our berating we would return home and have a huge luncheon with copious amounts of fine wine and look forward to the Boxing Day meet of our local pack of hounds. Somehow it was all part of the Christmas package and just as comforting and regular as The Queen's Speech at 3.00pm on BBC1.

One point that our minister made has stuck with me - Like it or lump it there was born into this world a child called Jesus . That young baby was only to have a short life of 33 years before his ghastly death . It is possible that Jesus could neither read nor write but he certainly left his mark on this world . Some 2020 years later The Bible is a bestseller, fabulous Churches have been built in his honour, great music written in his name (do try and go to hear Handel's Messiah over the Christmas period) . Jesus certainly possessed magic and genius.

Please try and attend midnight mass at Forcett at 11.30pm on Christmas Eve. You never know some of that magic and genius might rub off on you. Oh! By the way I promise you that the sermon will not last more than 9 minutes and you will not be berated as we all so richly deserve.

Happy Christmas!

Jamie Cameron

East Layton Chapel Warden

 


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